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Basketball/baseball: Earl Robinson dies

Earl Robinson, one of Cal’s greatest two-sport athletes, died Friday at the age of 77 after a long illness.

Robinson, who starred in basketball and baseball in the late 1950s, was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. He was voted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor in 2010 and a year later received the Pete Newell Career Achievement Award, which is presented to the Cal men’s basketball alumnus who upholds the highest ideals of Coach Newell and the University of California.

Robinson was modest in his acceptance of the Newell award.

“When they talk about an achievement award, you must remember that you never do this by yourself,” Robinson said. “It’s because of so many people. It is you that I share this award with. I am humbled by this award. You, the fans, supported us – I don’t care whether Wilt Chamberlain came in here, the great Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Elgin Baylor or whoever it might be. It was your support that made us feel that we could always compete. And so I accept this award in your honor.”

A graduate of Berkeley High, Robinson was a 6-foot-1 guard on the basketball team, helping Cal to conference titles in 1956, ’57 and ’58. He was twice an All-Coast selection and three times was named to the All-Pacific Coast Conference team.
 
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Basketball: Ex-Cal star Justin Cobbs makes Warriors his latest stop on pre-NBA draft tour

I visited the Warriors’ practice facility in Oakland on Wednesday to talk with ex-Cal star Justin Cobbs, who was among six NBA draft hopefuls who worked out in front of club officials.

Here’s my story on how Cobbs and former Saint Mary’s College guard Stephen Holt are faring in the leadup to the June 26 NBA draft.

Cobbs also said he and his Cal teammates were completely surprised when coach Mike Montgomery announced his retirement after the season.

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Athletics: Cal’s rugby rout in national semifinals, topoing a busy and successful day on all fronts

Cal’s powerhouse rugby team roared into next week’s national championship with a 58-14 rout of Central Washington in the semifinals on Saturday at Witter Rugby Field.

The Bears (18-2) face two-time defending champion BYU (17-1) next Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City. The Cougars blanked Navy 60-0 in their semifinal.

Cal led 24-0 and was never threatened by Central Washington to set up a matchup vs. BYU in the title game for the eighth time in nine years.

BYU beat Cal 27-24 for last year’s title.  The Bears topped the Cougars in five of their other seven meetings since 2006.

*****

TRACK AND FIELD: Cal won the men’s team title at its Brutus Hamilton Challenge, led by senior Tom Blocker, whose winning time of 10.41 seconds in the 100-meter dash was a personal record and elevates him to No. 5 time on the school’s all-time list.

Blocker and football running back Khalfani Muhammad contributed to a second-place finish in the 400 relay with a season-best time of 40.25.

Sophomore Thomas Joyce was second in the Don Bowden Mile with a time of 4:00.49, which ranks No. 8 on Cal’s all-time list. Sydney Gray won the women’s Marilyn Davis mile in a personal-best of 4:22.18.

*****

It hasn’t been a great season for the Cal baseball team, but Brenden Farney’s RBI single sparked a three-run 10th inning and gave the Bears a 7-4 win over Stanford at Sunken Diamond.

The Bears improved to 17-20 overall, 6-10 in the Pac-12.

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Baseball: No Bears, no surprise in NCAA field

The NCAA baseball tournament field was released today and, to the surprise of no one, Cal did not make the cut.

Five Pac-12 teams are in the field: Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona. The Cardinal will host a regional, beginning Friday with a first-round game vs. Fresno State.

For those interested, here’s the NCAA tournament bracket.

The Bears’ season ended Sunday with a 5-3 loss at Stanford. Cal wound up 29-25 overall, 12-18 in Pac-12 play.

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Baseball: Bears fall at Stanford in season finale

One year after dodging program extinction and making an unlikely run to the College World Series, the Cal baseball team closed its regular season with a  5-3 road loss to No. 14 Stanford.

The Bears (29-25, 12-18 Pac-12), despite winning two of three games at Stanford this weekend, are considered a longshot to earn an NCAA tournament bid.

Chadd Krist went 2 for 3 with his 65 career double — an ongoing school record — for the Bears. Mitch Delfino homered in the loss.

– WOMEN’S SOCCER: Ex-Cal star Alex Morgan was officially named to the U.S. Olympic team which will try to win its third straight gold medal this summer in London.

– WOMEN’S CREW: The top-ranked Cal women’s squad wound up third for the second straight season at the NCAA championships at Mercer Lake at West Winsor, N.J. Virginia won the title.

–WOMEN’S TENNIS: Freshman Zsofi Susanyi, ranked 13th in the NCAA, was ousted from the NCAA singles tournament atter a 6-2, 6-2 loss to fifth-ranked Mallory Burdette of Stanford. Susanyi, from Hungary, finished the year with a record of 41-8.

 

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Baseball: Cal makes it two in a row over Stanford

The day after outlasting No. 14 Stanford 5-4 in an 18-inning marathon, the Cal baseball team (29-24, 12-17 Pac-12) stormed to a 15-5 victory over the Cardinal (37-16, 17-12) at Sunken Diamond.

Seven different Cal players had two hits or more, including Derek Campbell, who had three hits and three RBI, and Mike Reuvekamp, who had three hits. Chadd Krist contributed two doubles, giving him a Cal record 64 for his career.

The teams close the regular season Sunday with a 1 p.m. game at Stanford.

– TRACK AND FIELD: Three more Cal athletes earned berths in the NCAA championships as the regional preliminaries at Austin, Texas, wound up.

Harrison Steed and Brian Carmichael both qualified in the high jump with clearances of 7 feet, 1 1/2 inches. Chelsea Reilly advanced in the women’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 16 minutes, 15.89 seconds.

The NCAA championships will be held June 6-9 at Des Moines, Iowa.

– WOMEN’S TENNIS: Cal freshman Zsofi Susanyi advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA singles tournament with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) win over USC freshman Sabrina Santamaria in Athens, Ga. Susanyi, a native of Hungary, will face Stanford’s fifth-seeded senior Mallory Burdette in the semifinals.

Teammate Jana Juricova, the defending NCAA singles champ, was eliminted in the quarterfinal round, losing 7-5, 6-2 to Stanford’s Nicole Gibbs.

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Softball: No. 1 Bears sweep Beavers, set up season-ending showdown with No. 2 ASU

Jolene Henderson struck out 12 batters and pitched a four-hitter, improving to 28-1, as the top-ranked Cal softball team (48-3, 19-2 Pac-12) scored a 4-1 win over Oregon State (33-19, 8-12) at Corvallis, Ore.

The win completes a three-game road sweep and keeps the Bears atop the Pac-12 standings headed into next week’s regular-season-ending three-game series at Berkeley against No. 2 Arizona State (45-5, 17-2), the defending national champion. Game 1 of the series is Thursday at Levine-Fricke Field. First pitch is at 3 p.m.

Lindsey Ziegenhirt hit a two-run homer for the Bears, who managed just three hits.

– BASEBALL: Junior left-hander Justin Jones pitched a complete-game 2-hitter and the Bears (25-19, 9-12) posted a 8-0 win over Washington State (23-20, 9-11) at Pullman, Wash. Jones walked the first batter he faced, then didn’t walk another. He struck out six and retired the final 15 batters he faced. His 23rd career victory tied Jones for fifth on Cal’s career list.

Junior Mitch Delfino was 4 for 5 with a double, raising his average to a team-leading .381. Junior Vince Bruno was 3 for 4 and drove in three runs.

 

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Baseball: Sweep of Pacific caps big Cal weekend

Cal’s No. 22 baseball team beat Pacific 9-3 at Evans Diamond on Sunday, completing a three-game, season-opening series sweep of the Tigers.

A pretty good exclamation point on the weekend for Cal athletics:

   — The men’s basketball team beat Oregon and Oregon State to improve to 22-6 overall, 12-3 and still tied for first place in the Pac-12 standings. Expect the Bears to move into the top-30 on Monday when the official NCAA RPI ratings are released, and expect sophomore point guard Justin Cobbs to be named Pac-12 Player of the Week.

   — The women’s basketball team went on the road and swept the Oregons, reaching 20 victories for the fifth time in six seasons. The Bears are 10-4 in conference play and have a two-game cushion on third place.

   — The Cal rugby team, which hardly broke a sweat while outscoring its first nine opponents 650 to 23, claimed a 13-12 win over the British Columbia Thunderbirds, a Canadian powerhouse, in the first game of their long-time “World Cup” series. The Bears travel to B.C. on March 25 to complete the two-game set.

   — The Cal softball team, ranked No. 1 and No. 3 nationally by separate polls, improved to 8-0 on the season with four wins at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas. The Bears beat LSU 14-3 on Sunday to close out the event.  Pleasanton native Valerie Arioto is batting .625 with seven homers and 18 RBI through eight games. On Sunday, LSU wisely walked her three times.

   — The only notable defeats for the Bears came in men’s and women’s swimming. The No. 3 Stanford men beat the No. 6 Bears 146.5 to 96.5 and the the Cardinal women upended the top-ranked Bears 174-126, in dual meets Saturday at Stanford.